Project Everest

Work Update

Path to plastic roads

Harry Nowland
Harry Nowland | Jul 12, 2017 | in Knowledge Base

In 2015 India made it mandatory for all road developers in the country to use waste plastic, along with bituminous mixes for road construction. There are a huge amount of pro's that come with this method & very little negatives. I'm curious why this idea hasn't really caught on to other nations. I understand the idea was patented in 2006 and this is the only reason I can think of as to why the idea hasn't gone global. I don't know the guidlines to the patent and have noticed other countries such as the Netherlands are considering the idea anyway, so why can't we?! 

Georgia Holt Jul 12, 2017

I think this is a great idea, especially for countries such as Timor who are developing their infrastructure such as roads around the island. If developing countries could skip the step during development where they're impacting negatively on the environment and go straight to cleaner air and more environmentally infrastructure and electricity generation, then that would be best. Perhaps the plastic roads is a great way to achieve this

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Ciaran Hoare Jul 12, 2017

Here's a couple of journal articles on this. The findings show that replacing 20% of the asphalt with PET decreases long term effects of deformation, but also decreases stiffness.

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Krystal Kennedy Jul 12, 2017

Thank you! That's an interesting point and I just did some research on it :). For people who might interested in it as well, I would explain what it is, how it works and list out some pros and cons.
Plastic roads are made from a mix of bitumen and recycled plastic. They have prefabricated, modular and hollow structure which makes construction and maintenance faster and easier than traditional roads.
Hollow design- the hollow space underneath plastic roads can be used to store water, prevent flood, transit of cables and pipes. Therefore, plastic road helps prevent excavation damages and flooding during extreme precipitation.

Pros: longer lifespan and excellent flexural strength, lighter than conventional road, 100% circular and use large percentage of plastic waste, faster construction time, reduce 10% of need of bitumen, cost effective
Cons: Toxics present in the co-mingled plastic waste would leach; the presence of chlorine release noxious HCL gas

ps. Dr. Sahadat Hossain, an associate professor of civil engineering at UTA (University of Texas at Arlington) proposed an idea of using recycled plastic soda bottles to create pins to stabilise the roads and lessen the incidence of cracks and buckling. Not only is this a cheaper fix, but it is one that will last years longer than conventional solutions. (

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Krystal Kennedy Jul 12, 2017

official website

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Joshua Smedley Jul 13, 2017

It's worth noting that asphalt is about the most recycled material in the world, at a rate of about 99%.

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Darcy Connaghan Jul 2, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

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